Some Gray Matters
After enduring a very wild accident towards the tail end of the 2012 NHRA drag racing season (TOC, Jan. '13), New Mexico's Shane Gray is primed for better things in 2013 from his all-new Pro Stock Camaro. Built by Jerry Haas and overseen by crew chief Justin Elkes, the future looks very bright for Shane as he enters his fourth season in the very elite NHRA professional category. Shane, who is the son of NHRA Fuel Funny Car driver Johnny Gray, is confident that his new state-of-the-art '13 Camaro will be able to improve upon his career best e.t. and speed (6.510 sec. and 212.46 mph) and also add to his career NHRA event win total (two and counting).
More Fun – Less Business?
Twenty-five-year-old second-generation Sportsman racer Justin Lamb has a very cool new machine to play with in 2013. The versatile driver who has already raced a number of fast machines in his career (including a 6-second dragster and a Competition Eliminator car) will now also campaign a truly stunning '70 Camaro in Stock Eliminator this season. Justin reports that car was originally acquired from Phil Unruh and it features a high-compression 350ci motor program built by Gary Stinnett. Justin, who is a recent graduate from UNLV, reports that he will continue to race his Chevy Cobalt Super Stocker too, but is looking forward to the less demanding pace and the stiff competition within Stock Eliminator to further hone his driving skills.
Wilson Steps Up Program
Missouri's Rick Wilson has made a significant upgrade to this Top Sportsman racing program. Based out of Independence, Wilson will enter his first full season in 2013 behind the wheel of a new '69 Camaro that was jointly built by Terry Murphy and Blake Housley. Wilson took delivery of the car during the summer of 2012 and is working hard to refine it for NHRA's Division 5 TS class competition. The beautiful Hairy Glass-bodied car features a terrific paint scheme applied by Billings Paint (Kansas City) and a 632ci nitrous-injected engine program by Wilson's own Straight-Line Racing Engines. The car is expected to run regularly in the 6.8-second zone at 200 mph.
Racing the Prototype
The '12 Camaro being raced by Texas car dealer Greg Lair (Greg Lair Buick-GMC, Canyon, Texas) is truly unique. Now converted for Top Sportsman class racing, Lair's car is in fact the actual very first new-generation Pro Stock Camaro built for drag racing competition. GM used it as the template for both wind tunnel development and NHRA's approval process for making the model legal for competition. The car, which was built jointly by Jerry Haas and Don Ness is now outfitted with a naturally aspirated 812ci Sonny's Wedge motor that produces 1,600+ horsepower. Using a dual-disc Ram clutch and a Lenco five-speed, Lair competes without nitrous and a clutch off the starting line—counter to what is more commonly used in the category. Lair's Camaro is just the latest machine for the career TS racer who has competed in that category—exclusively—since 1988.